Chapter 6: Workplace Essential Skills

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, the reader will be able to:

  • Describe essential skills.
  • Assess your current skill level in each essential skills.
  • Identify strategies for improving essential skills.
  • Practice continuous, lifelong learning.

Terms to Know

Collaboration – Working with others to complete a task.

Continuous learning – Learning throughout your life and constantly striving to improve your skills.

Critical thinking – The process of analyzing information for solving problems.

Digital skills – Skills “needed to understand and process information from digital sources, use digital systems, technical tools, and applications” (Skills/Compétences Canada, 2021).

Document use – Reading, interpreting, understanding, locating, and creating common workplace documents.

Numeracy – “the use of numbers and [the] capability to think in quantitative terms” (Skills/Compétences Canada, 2021).

Verbal Communication – “any type of interaction that makes use of spoken words” including answering the phone, personal discussions, staff meetings, presentations, and informal conversations (Inc., 2020).

Case Study: Samira’s (She/Her) First Office Job

Samira has just started a new position as an office assistant at Perez, Patel, and Erickson, a local accounting firm. She is excited to start her first office job and keen to demonstrate the new skills she acquired through the Business Administration diploma program. Her primary duties will be to answer the phone and emails, greet the clients, make appointments, and take payments, along with other project-type assignments. Her WIL instructor suggests that this will be a great opportunity for Samira to work on her essential employability skills. Samira has never heard of these, but they sound… essential!



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Getting Ready for Work-Integrated Learning Copyright © 2022 by Deb Nielsen; Emily Ballantyne; Faatimah Murad; and Melissa Fournier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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